We’ll they’ve really done it now. After winning 15 straight games at home and six straight playoff series, the Kings have dug themselves quite a hole following their loss to the Blackhawks in Game 4. Yet despite the odds of trailing Chicago 3-1 in the Western Conference Final, they aren’t talking like a team ready to pack it in. After landing in Chicago Friday afternoon several players were made available to the media for questions – here’s what Dustin Brown, Robyn Regehr, Jarret Stoll and Justin Williams had to share…
Q. (unsure of question)
BROWN: It’s a different situation when you just have one game to play. You can draw on being in the trench hole together. I think it’s key for us, the fact that we’ve been through it together, we’ve been down in the holes together. I think the most important thing is leaning on each other at a time like now.
Q. What do you think is the reason you had two shots on goal in the third period?
BROWN: I couldn’t tell you what caused that. We have to get more pucks to the net, more bodies to the net. I don’t think that’s just the third, but the whole series. The Hawks have done a good job, been limiting our rush chances. With the way their D skate, we have to place the pucks better and get to the neutral zone better. I think the neutral zone has pretty much been the key for the whole series. Their transition game is really good. If we’re going to turn the puck over or not get through the neutral zone cleanly, it’s going to play into their hands.
Q. What do you have to do different on the powerplay?
WILLIAMS: I think they do an excellent job of blocking shots. That’s plain and simple. They get their bodies in the shot lane. You can sometimes fake that you’re in the shot lane when you’re actually not. But they’re in them every time. They’re manning up and getting behind them. We’re getting a lot of zone time on the PP. Only have one goal to come with it. Haven’t scored a big power play goal yet. But getting through the first layer is going to be important because we’ve had a lot of possession time, a lot of zone time. But just getting it through their blockers is key.
Q. Justin, the other day you said you had no idea when you were so good on the road last year, struggling this year. As it goes on, is it a mental hurdle you have to overcome?
WILLIAMS: No, I’m not too worried about it. Are you worried about it? I don’t think we’re worried about it.
REGEHR: You prepare the same way, whether it’s the home or on the road. The preparation is all the same.
WILLIAMS: It hasn’t gone our way on the road obviously. But now we need to win two in the United Center. We’re not scared of it. We’re certainly not scared of it. We’re going to welcome a challenge to beat the best team in the league this year in theirown house starting tomorrow.
Q. How do you avoid getting drawn in? It’s going to be physical.
WILLIAMS: Well, use your head. We’re pretty smart guys. Sometimes emotions get the better of you. We’ve been through pressure situations. You take a punch to the head for the better of the team. Everyone says that. You just do it. It’s going to be physical. You play whistle to whistle, and that’s it.
Q. Jarret, big picture here (indiscernible).
STOLL: I think their skill level is obvious. They’ve got a lot of guys spread out throughout their lineup that can score goals and create chances. Their depth is one thing that comes to mind. Their neutral zone play. Like Brownie said, they move the puck really well. By us being more simple, getting in on the forecheck, that doesn’t mean throwing pucks across, you have to do things smartly, set your game up that way. They love the rush. They love making plays on the rush. They don’t really like to dump the puck in too much. Whereas St. Louis, they were more of a big-grinding, physical, down-low cycle team. These guys are a little bit more dangerous.
Q. Did they go into shutdown mode in the third period?
REGHER: I don’t think so. I think they have a game plan. They play it. They played it well. We had a game plan. We didn’t execute it as well as we wanted to. Back to that first question you asked to the guys, too. It’s a situation that you don’t have to look very far. You look at the opponent that we’re playing. They were in the exact same situation, and they came out of it in the last round. It’s something that’s very doable. We’re preparing to win one game tomorrow, and that’s as far as we’re looking right now.
Q. Can you speak about your belief in Jonathan Quick.
BROWN: Jon has been the backbone of our team ever since he came here. It’s a big part of the reason why we’ve been successful as a team. It all starts with him back there. If there’s one thing that’s never going to waiver, it’s the confidence we have in that guy. Going back through the last few years, there’s been some times when we have struggled as a team, and he has allowed us to win games 1-0, 1-0 in shootouts in regular seasons. We never question that guy as a teammate. Like I said, he’s huge for us.
Thursday’s post-game comments from Dustin Brown are up here. We also have additional comments surrounding Game 4 posted on the site. See the links below.
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